MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared today, Wednesday, May 13th, that the country is moving to “the new normality” after 51 days of lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez said the reopening would be “gradual, orderly and cautious,” and that by May 18, industries like construction, mining, and car and truck manufacturing would be allowed to resume.
Mexico’s top advisory body on the coronavirus pandemic, the General Health Council, said Tuesday it had decided to classify those industries as “essential activities” that are allowed to continue working during a lockdown aimed at fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mexico has been under pressure from U.S. officials to reopen auto plants because without them, integrated supply chains would make it hard for plants in the U.S. and Canada to reopen.
Marquez said that about one-tenth of Mexico’s townships that have no recorded cases of coronavirus would be allowed to resume business and school activities, but would be surrounded by health checkpoints. There are about 269 such “townships of hope,” that neither have active cases in their own territory nor in adjoining townships. They are largely located in rural areas in north-central and southeastern Mexico.
A new, four-color coding system will be in place by June 1 to tell people and businesses what activities are allowed.
Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer said, “We are in the critical part of the pandemic, but we are doing well.” Education Secretary Esteban Moctezuma said, “We are not going to return to classes until it is safe.”
Mexico currently has over 38,000 confirmed coronavirus cases — though officials have acknowledged the real figure is many times higher — and almost 4,000 deaths
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Source: Associated Press
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